The song, released via Big Machine Records, debuts at No. 90 with 14.4 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 2%), 2.4 million official streams (up 2%) and 2,000 downloads sold in the Aug. 19-25 tracking week, according to Luminate. It also rises 14-12 on Country Airplay and holds at its No. 24 high on the multi-metric Hot Country Songs chart.
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“Lookin'” is Dean’s first Billboard chart entry. He made his first debut on any ranking when the song entered the Country Airplay chart dated March 12. It had earned a boost via its sync in the seventh season of Paramount’s Yellowstone released in December.
The Maryland native had his first taste of fame in 2018 as a senior at Arundel High School. He sang an acoustic rendition of the national anthem during his school’s football game, which went viral and led to an appearance and performance on The Steve Harvey Show. It was his first visit to Los Angeles and “the furthest away from home I’ve ever been,” he told Harvey.
Since then, Dean has opened for Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert and Jake Owen, among others, and signed with Big Machine Label Group last year, as well as TKO Artist Management, WME and Little Louder Music (Eric Church’s publishing company). He’s currently on tour with Lee Brice before heading off with HARDY in December. He recently toured with Brooks & Dunn.
In an interview with Billboard in May, Dean recalled how his breakthrough hit came together. “We had that big thumpin’ vibe and I kind of mumbled something under my breath that I used to say to my mom: ‘If I don’t come back, don’t come looking.’ And [my co-writer Luke Dick] whipped his head around and said, ‘That’s what we’re writing today.’ But it was just something I would tell my mom if I was running off in the woods for a day or so. She’s say, ‘Stay alive, no matter what occurs,’ and I’d say that. It was just a little shot at each other for a while, and it became a radio song.”
“Lookin'” appears on Dean’s debut major-label LP Greenbroke, which arrived in March.